Car alarm FAQs

Answers to common general questions about car alarms. See our Which car alarm page for specific info about AVS car alarms. Our friendly team is here to help so if you need some help please call us on 0800 438 862 or send us an email.

Why should I buy a NZ/Australian Standards certified car alarm?

Australian and New Zealand Standards Certified car alarms have been independently tested to meet the the minimum level of the stated standard. AVS A-Series and S-Series car alarms are certified to AS/NZS Standards and in many cases exceed the minimum requirements.

The Standard covers important functions such as how the car alarm immobilises the engine and how the battery back up siren works. Buying a Standards Certified car alarm of any brand is a good start towards ensuring the car alarm you choose will offer good basic security features and operation along with a minimum build standard.

You may still see reference to the Star Rating system. This was a reference system run by the New Zealand Security Association until late 2012 which allocated a Star Rating (from 1 to 5 Stars) to registered AS/NZS Standards Certified alarms.

Along with some other major car alarm brands we have kept the Star Rating reference on our car alarm material as it gives the consumer an easy way  to compare different brands and models.

Will my insurance company give me a discount if I fit a car alarm?

Many insurance companies will offer policy benefits for having a car alarm fitted. What is offered will depend on the car alarm model you choose, the insurance company’s policy and your own insurance history, but commonly you may be entitled to a discount on your premium or you may not lose your no claims bonus if the car is stolen with an insurance approved car alarm fitted.

We recommend talking with your insurance company before choosing which car alarm to fit.

My car already has a remote built into the key, can I use this to control my car alarm?

This will depend on the car alarm model you are looking at.

Most car alarm brands offer a specific ‘MAP upgrade’ alarm that allows this functionality.

AVS alarms work a little differently from other alarm brands though in that our AVS A-Series and S-Series car alarms have a built-in factory remote interface or MAP feature which allows the alarm to read signals from the car and arm and disarm the AVS car alarm when the doors are locked or unlocked from the factory remote. This gives you all the security benefits of a Standards Certified car alarm with the ease of control with your car’s factory remote.

Why doesn’t my car alarm sound when I kick the tyres?

Car alarms come with a variety of sensors and detectors most of which are not designed to be able to detect the tyres being kicked (or stolen). If a standard sensor, such as a shock sensor, is set highly sensitive to try and detect a kick to the tyres, it will become prone to false triggers.

A shock sensor is designed to pick an impact to the body of the car. To test a shock sensor arm the alarm and wait until the blue light on the dash starts flashing then with an open hand slap the windscreen or side windows of the car. You should here a series of beeps or the siren sounding. Be careful of any jewellery on your hands as you could break the glass.

Will my car alarm protect my alloy wheels?

It is very difficult  for a car alarm with standard sensors to detect when wheels are being tampered with. The most effective sensor to use is a digital tilt sensor. A good tilt sensor should be able to detect if the car is tilted in ANY direction. This will also trigger the alarm if the car is towed (a common way thieves steal vehicles now).

The AVS digital tilt sensor can be added to any AVS car alarm and most other brand alarms. It also comes with the AVS S5 and AVS C5 car alarm, the only alarms on the market with this level of sensor included as standard.

My car alarm is flattening my battery, what should I do?

It is very unlikely that the car alarm is causing your car battery to go flat. Most car alarms draw very little current – usually less than 20mA – so will not flatten a car battery unless left for several weeks (as long as the battery is in good condition). Car batteries will start to deteriorate after only a couple of years and will need to be replaced after 3-5 years.

If you are concerned a car alarm installer or auto-electrician can run a current draw test on your car alarm for a small service fee.

Why should I buy a known brand car alarm?

Purchasing a known brand car alarm from a reputable retailer or installer means you can be assured of after sales service and back-up. This is so important given how much most of us rely on our cars for getting around every day.

Most major alarm brands offer a 3-year product warranty and the installer will also provide an installation warranty.

Major car alarm brands have a nationwide install and service network meaning you can get help even if you are away on holiday.

Furthermore you may wish to add a new remote or other accessory at a later date which can be next to impossible with a no-brand cheapie system. We recommend carefully researching what support is offered for the car alarm you are considering.